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Death penalty - to tell or not to tell?

  1. Jul 28, 2010 #1
    BBC News : Japan hangs two death row inmates


    My question :

    In Japan, prisoners are not told when they will be executed. So, what is worse, to be told or not to be told?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 28, 2010 #2
    To be told, especially when last minute reprieves can move it till a later date. I think it would be hell, preparing yourself to die only to be told not yet, then going through it all again, over and over.
  4. Jul 28, 2010 #3
    To tell or not to tell? I'm not sure.

    But according to this article:

    http://www.victimsofviolence.on.ca/rev2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=327&Itemid=17 [Broken]

    Not knowing when or if you will be executed is cruel and unusual punishment.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  5. Jul 28, 2010 #4
    Maybe slightly less macabre, should doctors tell their terminal patients the news and if so how much time they have left?
  6. Jul 28, 2010 #5
    Since I'm not a doctor, I went to http://www.healthcaremagic.com/healthpage/Does-a-doctor-have-to-tell-a-patient-he-is-dying [Broken]

    And, http://www.healthcaremagic.com/comm...s a doctor have to tell a patient he is dying

    It says, No.

    What good does it do to tell? I think it's better not to tell, the doctor could be wrong, and the patient recovers ... by telling, the patient will just give up.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  7. Jul 28, 2010 #6
    I think it would be worse not to be told because you would know it could be coming any day so you would worry if today was you day.
  8. Jul 28, 2010 #7


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    Dearly Missed

    That is what you won't do.

    Let 3-4 days of agitation pass, and human optimism shows itself, and you think no more of it.

    To maintain mental equilibrium is a strong psychic need for humans, living in "needless" anguish is anti-thetical to that.

    Not that I hereby have said I endorse execution, or for that matter, the Japanese way of doing it.
  9. Jul 29, 2010 #8
    There is an ethical basis for the right to fair and public trial. Informing people of all aspects of their punishment, including the possibility and reasons an execution could be re-scheduled should be included in that, I think. Cruelty in punishment is not necessary or desirable. If someone is already giving up their life to pay for crimes committed, why should they suffer beyond that? Of course, try to tell that to the people who lost loved ones due to their crime. Even though cruel and unusual punishment is supposed to be illegal, it seems to be the only means to evoke a sense of satisfaction or forgiveness in the victims, and even then may not be enough. Justice is very complex.
  10. Aug 1, 2010 #9
    I would want to know if I was to be executed. That way one could try to make some sort of peace before death. To find out right before the execution that you were going to die would be too much to handle.
    Now let's look at it from the other way. If a guy murdered a member of my family I would hope he would know the execution was coming so would have to spend the rest of his life thinking about how much (exact) time he had left.

    As for doctors with terminal patients I would hope that they would tell the truth. (I have some personal experience with this one). If I only had a few days to live I would want to make sure I was able to see all of my friends and family. Plus, being given false hope makes loved ones feel completely blindsided when the person actually dies (even though they are not truly blindsided, it does feel that way).
  11. Aug 4, 2010 #10
    If you were a doctor, wouldn't it be very tough to tell a patient he is dying?

    Haven't doctors seen time and time again patients living much longer than predicted or dying much sooner?

    Aren't doctors notoriously bad at predicting how much time a patient has left?

    Their predictions are based on statistics

    Isn't it part of their jobs to give hope and sense of security?
  12. Aug 4, 2010 #11
    1. So what if it's tough? Doctors are paid to do this. It is part of the job description.
    2. This is true but the patient also has a right to know the condition of their own body.
    3. I wouldn't say this is true. Sure, some patients defy the odds but doctors often give cancer patients the 5 year survival rate to illustrate their condition.
    4. So?
    5. There is a fine line between giving hope and lying to a patient.
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